If you are planning to come to the UK to live with your British or settled partner, you will no doubt be looking closely at the many requirements which must be met for an unmarried partner visa. Under the family visa system, there are a number of key eligibility requirements which must be satisfied, including:
In this article, we will focus in particular on the financial requirements, including the minimum income amount, and how you can demonstrate to the Home Office that you are eligible
When assessing your application, the Home Office will check that you have sufficient money to live for the period of time you are in the UK (this applies whether the applicant is married / in a civil partnership or not). The full set of financial requirements for any application under the family migration route is laid out in detail in Appendix FM: Section 1.7. This is an essential resource for anyone is trying to figure out if they are eligible and how they can satisfy the requirements. The key points you need to be aware of are as follows:
Annual gross income requirements
The Home Office specifies a minimum gross income (i.e. before tax and national insurance is deducted) requirement of:
When working out how much annual income you have, do bear in mind that this does not only relate to paid employment; other sources of income can be used, including any:
According to paragraph 3.6.1 of appendix FM financial requirement, if an applicant’s partner receives one of the benefits listed below or allowances on behalf of their child, they will meet the financial requirement through “adequate maintenance” rather than the minimum income requirement. These benefits include:
In some cases, it might be that the applicant and their sponsoring partner do not meet the annual income threshold outlined above. One option is to use cash savings of over £16,000. If you do have cash savings over this amount, these can be used to reduce the amount of annual income you need to prove, and if they are high enough, can even reduce the annual income requirement to zero.
To work out how much your cash savings can assist you in meeting the minimum income requirement, you will need to do some calculations, as follows:
Step 1: Work out your average amount of savings over the past six months (note the savings must have been held by the applicant’s partner, the applicant or both jointly for at least the six months prior to the date of application and under their control)
Step 2: Take £16,000 from the amount of average savings
Step 3: Divide the figure remaining by 2.5 (2.5 is the number of years a partner visa will be issued for, hence this ensures you have enough money for the full period of the visa).
If you have £21,000 you can reduce your annual income requirement by £2,000. An amount of £62,500 would cancel out the £18,600 minimum income requirement completely.
Once you have completed your online application form for a partner visa, you will be advised of which documents you will need to provide to support your case. These may include some or all of the following:
We have only catered for the most straightforward of partner visa application scenarios in this article. The financial requirements guidance of appendix FM goes into much more detail on a wide range of circumstances and other ways of meeting these requirements, including variable income, self-employed income, and exceptional circumstances. If you are concerned that you do not meet the financial requirements, it is advisable to engage the services of immigration Solicitors who will be able to look at all possible sources of income and funding, and where needed, see if you can qualify under exceptional circumstances.
What are the options when an unmarried partner sponsor does not meet financial requirements?
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